Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Alstroemeria x vanhouttei Hort.

William Herbert saw these plants at Louis van Houtte’s nursery and wrote of them:  ‘They are of every tint, from scarlet to lemon-colour, and from crimson to pale pink, variegated with white.  It would have been difficult to find two plants, amidst the great number then in bloom, of which the flowers were exactly similar, some being remarkable for the delicacy, as others for the brilliancy, of their hues.  Another very long bed of younger plants raised from last years seed of the former, was in vigorous progress, and already showed many flower buds.  The foliage of all the plants was nearly similar, the average height of the inflorescence being, I should think, between 12 and 18 inches.  Mr. Van Houtte informs me that he purchased the whole from the person who raised them; and, from their appearance, I should pronounce them mules between A. Hookeriana and haemantha.  I cannot assert that A. pulchra and aurantiaca may not have been in part concerned with their production, but I rather attribute it to Hookeriana and one of the best varieties of haemantha, such as Barclayi.  They were planted in a mixture of vegetable earth and strong soil, with the Ghent sand, and in some parts the plants seemed to have suffered from the compost being too light and sandy.  I do not recollect having ever seen a bed of flowers so beautiful; and I should think Mr. Van Houtte will find it difficult to supply the demand for them, when their merit shall become fully known.’  [Gard. Chron. July 12th, 1845]. 

Horticultural & Botanical History

Hybrids and varieties grown at the nursery of Louis van Houtte at Ghent in Belgium.  ‘A race of endless variations has been obtained from A. hookeriana by the pollen of A. haemantha and its varieties.  These are called Van Houtte’s seedlings.’  [JD].  Van Houtte figured Alstroemeria chilensis in the Flore des Serres [FS p.98 vol.1/1845].  The plants shown were in a wide range of colours and, although figured as A. chilensis Lem., its possible that they represent Alstroemeria x vanhouttei

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues [B.31/1850]. 


Published Jan 11, 2009 - 04:38 PM | Last updated Jul 03, 2010 - 04:59 PM

Illustrated are Peruvian Lily hybrids in a range of colours from yellow to pink.  Flore des Serres p.98 vol.1, 1845.

Alstroemeria x vanhouttei Hort. | FS p.98 vol.1/1845 | CSIRO Black Mountain Library, Canberra

Family Alstroemeriaceae
Region of origin

Garden origin, Belgium

Common Name

Peruvian lily, Princess lily

Name in the Camden Park Record

Alstroemeria Van Houtii 

Confidence level high